James McAdoo shines at Jordan Classic
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- James McAdoo can't wait to move on from high school.
North Carolina fans may be just as eager for his jump to the next level after his performance in Saturday night's Jordan Brand Classic.
McAdoo had 26 points and 14 rebounds and hit the clinching free throws with 1.6 seconds left to lead the East squad to a 113-109 victory over the West on Saturday night in his final basketball act before joining North Carolina's deep front line in the fall.
Biancardi: Just the Beginning
ESPN Recruiting's Paul Biancardi shares some of his observations from the 10th annual Jordan Brand Classic, where James McAdoo and Anthony Davis shined. Story
"High school kind of got boring. After a while it's just the same thing over and over," the 6-foot-8 Norfolk, Va., native said. "So just getting on campus there and kind of being put back at the bottom of the totem pole is just going to be get me to work harder and proving myself once again."
Duke product Austin Rivers added 16 points, six rebounds and four steals for the East, which held off a late West rally in the freewheeling high school All-Star game devoid of much defense.
After the West cut a 14-point deficit to two, McAdoo calmly sank both free throws and was voted co-MVP with Davis.
McAdoo and fellow future Tar Heel P.J. Hairston played stretches with Rivers, set to become a fierce rival in the fall. McAdoo would seem to demand playing time even with North Carolina definitely returning big men John Henson and Tyler Zeller.
Another North Carolina forward, Harrison Barnes, attended the game and said he remains undecided on whether he'll enter the NBA draft.
"I see myself fitting in very well," McAdoo said.
Kentucky dominated the game with four players, two more than any other school.
"We kind of bonded in these last couple of all-American games," Davis said. "It's going to be great next year."
The 6-10 Davis, who has grown seven inches in a year to shoot up recruiting charts, scored in a variety of ways. He hit a baseline jumper, dunked an alley-oop pass, scored inside and knocked down two free throws in a 2 minute stretch early in the second half as the West briefly took the lead.
After the East built a 14-point lead, he had another burst of three buckets inside to get the West within five before two future teammates stopped the rally.
Davis keyed another late spurt that came up short. He missed only two of 15 shots as he prepares to join Wildcats coach John Calipari's loaded program.
"The college level is way different level and the style of play is way different," Davis said. "I've got to find a way to adjust. So I'll get there and work out more this summer."
Rivers, son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and the Naismith Foundation national player of the year, chose Duke instead of being McAdoo's teammate at rival North Carolina. With the game being played in Charlotte for the first time, Rivers expectedly got a mixture of boos and cheers from both teams' fans in pregame introductions.
Rivers split time between both guard positions. He struggled in hitting only 4 of 15 shots, but consistently teamed up with McAdoo on alley-oop dunks.
But even Michael Jordan's presence couldn't prevent the typical ragged All-Star game with little effort on defense, usually one pass and a shot and often 5-for-5 substitutions.
The game was littered with poor alley-oop passes, players not getting back after made baskets and showboating that sometimes turned embarrassing.
McAdoo clanged a 360-dunk attempt off the front rim, then missed a putback layup on the same possession as the East let an early 18-2 lead slip away. But it was one of the few mistakes for McAdoo, who hit 10 of 16 shots.
"I think what was important," McAdoo said, "was to come out here and put on a show for the people."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press